My Cat is Fat:(

tyleete

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Help! So, as it says above, I've a fat cat. It's gotten to the point where he's 18lbs! He's just a tomcat and not meant to be this weight. I've tried lessening the amount of food intake. I've even switched him over to the food I give my diabetic cat, Young Again Zero. Which has 0 carbs, which I read was had and led to obesity in cats. Nothing.
Yes. I realize it could be thyroid. But at the moment, I don't have the $160 for vet visit + thyroid blood test.
So thought I'd ask our anyone had any methods that worked for them for helping your "special' kitty shed some weight? Thanks!
 

scoutandmaxine

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I'm having the same issue with my big boy. He is 17lbs and I've switched him to wet food only. He gets plenty of exercise and playtime. The vet said he is definitely meant to be a big cat but I know itd be best for him to lose a few lbs. The only thing I think could possibly help is a microchip feeder to keep him from finishing off the food of my other cats. But those feeders are sooo expensive and I can't afford them. Also I know it takes time and patience to see results when changing diets and such.
 

Parktaejoon

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If you can afford to, switch to wet food! I'm assuming it's dry food since I looked up Young Again Zero and see that the description includes the kibble size, apologies if I'm wrong. I very much feel like a big bag of kibble lasts me way longer than a $24ish pack of 30 cans, so I have a lot of sympathy for people who find it hard to switch over due to the cost. Wet food has done a lot for my fat boy who is slowly losing weight. Going from dry to wet cuts out a lot of filler, all that loss of nutrients from the endless processing and cooking to form those little kibble pieces, and will give him more hydration. Stick to the serving size for a single cat and don't let him beg for more... my cats will beg all day and it's a struggle to say no sometimes (especially when they know they've got you when you're vulnerable, aka when you're trying to go back to sleep at 5am!) but it must be done... and do make sure he's not stealing food from your other cat! My boy used to do that all the time with his sister. I even built a "wall" of boxes between them during feeding when they were kittens, thinking I could turn away for a few minutes... nope! He managed to get over it and eat his sister's food.

My friends' cats have the same problem, and we both solved it by feeding one on the floor and the other on a higher spot (like a desk or bed) that the fatter cat might be unwilling to reach. And it's easier to keep an eye on if he's hopping up to steal the food.

Of course, planned exercise sessions several times a day, 20-30 min until he's unable to move and has exhausted himself... if, at his weight, he's unwilling or unable to move much with a cat wand toy, maybe a daily walk can work for him... it's rough to get them adjusted to a harness and leash at times when they're a little older. (I harness trained my cats when they were 11 week old kittens and they were a little resistant even then.) But it can be done. Might take a couple weeks to get him used to the harness, a couple more to get him moving around in it, and several to work on moving around outside... but it can be done!

Once you get some of the excess fat off, now at 14/15ish pounds, my boy is very light on his feet and will jump high in the air during playtime. Young cats have tonnes of energy to work off, so once you get him started in the process, the rest will likely come easy when he is in even slightly better shape to start zooming around. These would be worth trying for a few months to see if there is any progress before you do drop money on tests.

Additionally, I've heard that cats drop some weight on a raw diet naturally. But this is always a hit or miss, since understandably a lot of people don't want the risk or the extra work of buying/preparing raw food, whether due to cost or excessive prep or the small (but not impossible) chances of foodborne illness. All of these are logical reasons, not to mention the amount of research you must do beforehand, as well as checking with a vet who specialises in nutrition to make sure it will work with your cat. Which defeats the purpose of avoiding that big vet bill!
 

mrsgreenjeens

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To both of you who have fat cats, the key, along with lower carbs, is the amount of food they are eating. If they are nibbling on their "sibblings" food, that has to stop for them to lose weight. I also had a fat cat, along with three other cats who were to perfect weight. And we used to free feed kibble. In order for this one cat to lose weight, every one of the cats had to go on scheduled feedings, and we did switch to all wet food because I felt it was better for them, plus more filling. And guess what? The fat cat lost his excess weight, while the other remained their perfect weights. :cheerleader: BUT, that same cat still would overeat if he had the chance, so I feed him in a separate room from his now only remaining sibling. And I stay in the room of that sibling, since he doesn't finish his food in 2 minutes like the porker :lol: That way if his brother strolls in I can shoo him away.

If you aren't into harness training for more exercise, you can try walking around your house carrying their food with you. If you have stairs, all the better. And, of course, playing with them to get them moving, if they will do it. (Moving just one paw doesn't count :rolleyes2:)
 
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tyleete

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Parktaejoon thanks for the thoughts. As it were, I have tried several things in the past and none last with him.
Raw, baked chicken (both with EZ Complete), & wet food. He won't eat any of it for long. Starts turning his nose up at it.
As for money, Young Again costs me $62 for an 8lb bag. It's not cheap. It's just the healthiest I could find, especially with the carbs situation. The previous wet food I had him on I still feed 1 daily and that's $45 for a 12 cans. With Young Again he only eats up to (and since it got warm out less) 1/4 cup twice a day. So it's definitely not a lot. It's less because it has absolutely no plant protein, grains, or other filler crap in it. And while he is one of 4 that free feed throughout the day & at night, he doesn't eat from the other's bowls. Often there's left over in everyone's bowls. It's a very high animal protein. I try to give him wet food at least every other day. He's just not interested. He's a stinker. So I'm guessing maybe it is something like thyroid that I can't feed away from?:(
I'll try to exercise him now though. We're all a bunch of lazy bums around here. Could surely try with him.😁
Attaching pic. He's the white one.
 

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Furballsmom

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Hi
Hyper thyroid shows up as a ravenous appetite while losing weight, typically. Did you mean hypo-T?

The vet said he is definitely meant to be a big cat but
Since most veterinarians are usually extremely concerned about overweight cats, I think I'd listen to your vet in this case. As mentioned, having your cat on wet food is good.

How Much Food Should I Feed My Cat? – TheCatSite Articles

He's the white one.
He looks fine to me, maybe a 3 in a 5-scale such as I've linked below while the tabby looks like possibly a 4.

This can be helpful;
Body Condition Scores | VCA Animal Hospital

It's not good to feed him food meant for a diabetic cat.

Transitioning Free-fed Kibble Kitties To Timed Meals – TheCatSite Articles

Transitioning Your Cat From Kibble To A New Type Of Food – TheCatSite Articles
 
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tyleete

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The only reason it's a good good for diabetics is because the 0 carbs. It's not one of those Rx foods. So I wouldn't think it would be bad for all the other cats? I was told as long as they're over the age of 2, it'll be good for them.
I can try a schedule, but didn't think it was a bad thing to free feed since I give 1/2 the recommended amount early, then the other 1/2 later in the day. I do the same at night. But there almost always seems to be food in the bowl.
And we've had him for about 7yrs now & he's gained around 3-4lbs just in the last few years. Maybe 2yrs? I don't think he was ever supposed to be this fat.
As for the little tabby, he too has extra but only weighs 10lbs. And He's in the zero carbs food too.
I'd read carbs are what make them chunky. So it's why I put them on that food. I'll put bellow the Dry matter analysis and let me know if you guys feel that's bad for normal cats?
I just wanted eat healthier/trimmer kitties. And everyone else kept stealing the fat one's food so I switched them all.
Only ONE of my cats eats only wet food. I know people are trying to help, but please understand my cats are as dense as they are stubborn. They go through fazes of wanting wet food to refusing wet food. I cannot force them. I will not starve them. And yes, that's what it will come to. I've read the articles about transitioning. But the old saying... You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink, applies here. I've tried raw, I've tried several wet, I've even done the home cooking. The best I can do is wet on the side. It's offered at least 2x a day. Thefat one won't touch it currently. The tabby drinks all the juice and leaves the food.😄 At this point, I'm ok with that cause while it's a waste, at least he's getting extra water in.
 

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Furballsmom

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I'd like to suggest that you read these articles that I posted above. There's nothing remotely suggested regarding starving or forcing, in fact the opposite. In addition, your cats aren't obese, far from it.

Please, for their health, use the body condition chart and appropriately apply what you determine from that.

Tips To Increase Your Cat’s Water Intake – TheCatSite Articles
 
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tyleete

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Furballsmom, sorry for the misunderstanding. I wasn't saying you were saying to starve my kitties. But for everyone that claims any cat can be converted to all wet & when I say he won't I'm told... They'll eat it eventually.
That they won't starve themselves.
Not with you, but I have had to argue those words so many times. I truly wish any and all cats would eat wet food because I know it's better for them. But I have several stubborn jerks.:/
Also, I looked and the weight page and asked my husband what he thought Tiger (fat man) was. We both said 4 out of 5. He used to weigh 13lbs for quite some time and that felt like a good # for him. I think I'll take him in for a tsh4 test tomorrow. Think that's the one.
And yes I'd meant hypo not hyper. I have a 13yr old that suddenly turned hyper last year out of the blue. He had the opposite. Turned to a skeleton and starved all the time. He was eating 14oz of wet food a day tool good numbers were improved. Tiger seems the opposite, so wondered about it. I'm already taking another in for testing organ function. I'll just bring him in too I guess. :(
Does anyone have opinions on the images I posted showing the dry matter analysis? If that looked good and would be ok forcats without health issues? I was told it was ok and even good for them.
Thanks everyone!💕
 

arr

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Is it possible he would eat a different wet food? Have you tried Fancy Feast Classics, Friskies pate, Tiny Tiger, Sheba, Purina One? Only the pate versions, they are the lowest in carbs. I suggest these foods because they are affordable for most people for feeding predominantly wet, and the majority of cats like them. I’ve found the worst offender for weight gain is free feeding. Even if you do half wet, half dry, if you feed timed meals and figure out the proper calories, that should take care of it.
 

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Part of keeping your kitties fit and healthy is diet and exercise, just like with humans. We feed our kitties wet food twice a day and it helps keep them trim. In fact, my vet said my male kitty "could stand to gain a pound or two". They have such healthy coats and teeth. They also don't have many health issues. We feed a grain free diet, wet and dry, but mostly wet. Because my husband is home all day with them, they get fed wet food in the morning, a snack size portion of dry food at lunch, then wet food again at dinner, with a bedtime snack (so they will sleep all night) before we turn the lights out for the night. I started this routine when I had an obese kitty who needed to lose weight. It took about 2 years to get the weight off, which is what you want if you're trying to lose weight. The problem with most foods today is the high carbs from fillers. This can cause diabetes and weight gain.
 
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tyleete

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Stephanie- thank you for the detainee info about the feedings. If I can ever them over to wet, I shall try that.
Arrived-I have tried many brands, all pate. Ones I recall are: AmericanJourney grain free, Iams, fancy feast, friskies, & sheba. They don't take to any of it long.
I currently have 5 that will eat just a tiny amount of wet fancy feast mixed with water. They'll not eat much of the food but want the flavored water.😄 But since the water use the most important thing, I do that 2-4x a day for each. They usually leave the meat dried up behind. And won't drink more water with flavor enhancers, which would be nice & cheaper.
Thank you everyone that shared input.
I am going to attempt to get mine back to wet (they go in & out of wanting it) & will start with changing them from free feeding to timed.
Won't lie, I don't have high hopes. But it's certainly worth trying again. They hated raw so that's out. And only liked the home cooked for so long. Here's to hoping.
I did take him and another into the vets this morning though. 1 had panel done in house, he had his sent away for more specifics. I did have her use the glucose meter to check for diabetes and that as a negative at least.
And, he's now 19lbs.:( 4/5 on the far cat chart, so he's definitely fat. Will find out tomorrow if any internal problems I should worry about.
Thank you again to everyone.🐾💕
 

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Thanks so much for the update!! I totally understand that cats can be very silly and dense. They're creatures of habit, they want what they want, and it really does sound like you've tried plenty of methods to try to get them to open up.

I'd try the transition again as you planned, just to see if they change their minds. don't worry too much about getting them on the highest quality cat food... If they're going to be stubborn about it and make you throw the rest of the can away at the start of the process, the simple stuff does the trick and is already miles ahead of the dry food!

I think that's a great plan to quit the free feeding and stick to timed. Free feeding dry food is the enemy of weight loss for our chonkers. And exercise+play is key... I still have my lazy days where I feel like I'm not up to playing with the cats ... But their begging always wins me over 😊

Hoping the results from the vet come soon and that they will be helpful in planning out your boy's path to not being a fat cat! I'm sorry you had to go in and spend the money, but I read somewhere that certainty is easier for the human psychology rather than uncertainty. If anything, regardless of the results, you can rest easy afterwards knowing what you're working with! Sometimes it's well worth the price.
 

mrsgreenjeens

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You wanted an opinion on the Young Again food, and in my opinion, it's fine to feed that to all you cats if they will not eat wet. I think it's much better than most kibble out there. But it's pretty calorie rich, and calories count, so even though you are only feeding your boy 1/2 cup total, that's still 325 calories. You need to determine how many calories he actually needs and go from there. Let's say his ideal weight is 15 pounds (just guessing). And he's not very active right now (also just guessing). So you would take his ideal weight of 15 pounds and multiply it be 20 calories (because that's the low end of the scale for inactive cats) comes to 300. In that scenario, he should really be getting 300 calories per day vs 325. So you could cut his intake by a few pieces of kibble per day. (or if you get him to eat wet, feed him 300 calories of wet per day, total.) If he starts getting more active as he loses weight, then you might actually need to increase his food intake because cats should not lose weight too quickly or it can cause other health issues. Of course, this all hinges on him NOT being hypothyroid!
 

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I've read that putting dry food into a coffee grinder until it's powder and coating little tiny balls of wet food with it can get some cats interested in giving it a try. If they like the flavored water, that's great IMO! I'd keep offering it, even just splitting half a can up between everyone and letting them pick at it. Dry food addict cats can be very tough to switch over. I've had some I just threw up my hands and said I give up, but for the most part I've had decent luck.
 
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tyleete

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Thanks MrsGreenJeens! Having another opinion helps me feel better about it. I've spoken to the President of the company, but you never know. He does want people to buy the product of course.😄
And thank you ipappy. It'll be worth a try if they give me trouble. I've has to grind dry food into powder to try to give meds.
As for the tests, they came back absolutely clear and fine. Nothing abnormal in the least. Doc said we'll just watch him and try to get his weight down and see.
See said most wet foods have a higher calorie content and could male guneven fatter though?:( So for now will keep to lessening his dry at the moment.
 

Furballsmom

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See said most wet foods have a higher calorie content and could male guneven fatter though?
You have the means of looking at each brand of food you're considering and observing the kcals of each product.

Most cats when put in a wet only diet will lose weight slowly and with a little exercise, naturally, wich is the only safe way for a cat to lose weight.
 

Annieca2016

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Things I have learned from watching Simba the Tubby Tabby and other fat cats on Instagram lose weight: it's a long, very, very slow process. Like an ounce or less a week slow. For one, they gave him green beans in his wet food as something to bulk up the food without calories. Another they had him had to run up and down stairs for his food.
 
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